COVID19: Vaccination rollout moves to over 69s

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Cyprus’ COVID-19 vaccination rollout, boosted by increased AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccine deliveries, has reached the over 69s, with the target to vaccinate 60% of the population by June.

On Wednesday, the Health Ministry will open the online vaccination portal, offering people over 69 17,496 appointments, the highest announced so far.

Those aged over 69 will get vaccinated from next week.

To date, 82,564 people have been vaccinated, of which 23,604 received both jabs.

So far, Cyprus has covered almost 9% of its 900,000 population, with over 78,000 people receiving a jab, ranking it third in the EU vaccination league.

According to the website OurWorldInData, Cyprus is third in the European Union in administrating at least one vaccine, with an average of 8.7 doses per 100 people (valid until February 26).

Malta is top with 17.25 doses per 100, followed by Denmark with 10.26.

With the ministry vaccinating the over 70s, health services have moved on to the over 69s, plus health professionals.

Vaccinations in Cyprus are carried out at 11 centres and by six mobile units.

Cyprus hopes to achieve 15,000 vaccinations per day as vaccine deliveries increase.

This month Cyprus should receive more than 164,000 vaccines, increasing 64% compared to the previous month.

The health service will receive 107,000 vaccines from AstraZeneca, up from 69,000, another 50,000 from Pfizer, from an average of 28,000 and 7,500 more from Moderna.

Studies indicate that AstraZeneca works better when the two jabs are 12 weeks apart, allowing health authorities to spread the vaccine out, unlike Pfizer and Moderna.

Pfizer and Moderna recommend the second dose be administrated three weeks after the first.

On Tuesday, the Health Ministry said the vaccination program is going ahead according to the EU roadmap.

Cyprus has pre-ordered 4 million doses of vaccines, corresponding to 2 million people – twice its population.

Addressing criticism that authorities are slow in bringing vaccines, the ministry said it is working on getting the country’s share of vaccines pre-ordered by Brussels on behalf of member states.

“No country in the EU, even those countries with potentially bigger negotiating leverage, has been able to secure additional quantities on its own while paralleling or bypassing the EU’s joint procurement process,” said the ministry.

It said vaccine availability is tied to production capacity.

Cyprus has ordered enough vaccines to cover 60% of its population by June.